Nottingham Forest have been linked with a potential move for Reading defender Tyler Blackett, according to Football Insider.
It’s set to be a busy couple of days at the City Ground as Martin O’Neill and Roy Keane look to bolster the squad before Thursday’s deadline.
O’Neill got his first win as manager at the weekend in the 3-1 win against Wigan. His full attention will now be on improving the squad this week. 24-year-old Blackett is the latest to be linked with a move to the club by Football Insider.
In Football Insider‘s report, it claims that the Reds have submitted a £500,000 bid for the defender. Wigan are also understood to be interested in securing his services.
It remains to be seen whether Blackett does switch Berkshire for Nottinghamshire.
In the meantime, Seat Pitch has taken a look at the pros and cons of any potential deal.
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So what makes this a potentially good deal for the Reds?
First of all, the Reds are currently in the midst of a defensive injury crisis. The arrival of Blackett would go someway to easing that problem. If Danny Fox’s move to Wigan goes through, then Yohan Benalouane would be the Reds’ only available central defender. There are even some doubts over Benalouane’s availability after he revealed a serious-looking injury after the game against Wigan.
Michael Dawson, Michael Hefele and Tobias Figueiredo are all also unavailable at present due to injury. It’s clear that this position is somewhere O’Neill desperately needs to address.
Secondly, Blackett already has experience of playing in the Championship, so shouldn’t take long to settle. He has made 17 appearances for Reading so far this season. It has been a poor campaign for the Royals, but this has little to do with Blackett. He would arguably benefit from a new challenge.
No matter what formation O’Neill decides to utilise moving forward, Blackett’s versatility would also come in handy. Similarly to Jack Robinson, he is able to play both in central defence and at left-back.
Having originally come through Manchester United’s academy, it makes it easy to see why he is still highly-rated by many.
But there’s always cons to any deal, so what reasons are there to potentially avoid this transfer?
It’s fair to say that the reaction from supporters following the reports linking the Reds with the defender has been mixed. Blackett certainly hasn’t shown his full potential at Reading. He has looked vulnerable on numerous occasions and has made a number of costly errors over recent years.
Due to Forest’s recent history of defensive vulnerability, it’s easy to see why this might be a concern. However, a fresh start at a new club might give Blackett the confidence to get back to his best. If he can eradicate these silly mistakes, then he could certainly be a quality signing for the Reds.
In this case, there are only a few days remaining in the transfer window. Will many defenders of a higher calibre than Blackett suddenly become available? Probably not.
However, the other potential con is the chance of becoming involved in a bidding war. Wigan are also said to be interested in Blackett and are unlikely to step aside.
The Reds have reportedly tabled a bid of £500,000 for the defender. It’s unlikely that they would want to go much higher than that. If that bid was accepted, majority of the fee would be covered by the imminent sale of Fox.
But if Wigan do suddenly step up their interest, the Reds may have to increase that figure to bring Blackett to the City Ground. This is a situation which must be avoided.
In the meantime, O’Neill will be hoping that the club’s first bid is enough. If it is, then it will be interesting to see whether he looks to bring in any other defenders before the deadline.